At the shop, Úna complains to Mack that it’s her last day in town before she goes back to wherever she came from, but he says he’s too busy working to spend it with her and suggests she go shopping instead, because there are some really great sales on. I would say he’s being dismissive and callous, but I just got some really great polo shirts at Dunne’s in Galway for €7 each, so he’s not wrong. It seems Úna’s family togetherness plan has been a bit of a bust, though, since she’s spent most of her visit with John Joe and Dee.
Oh, my mistake, I was actually hearing Maggie cough a lot of asthma into David and Gráinne’s faces. They’ve come by her place to collect a €3500 check she’s writing to Homelessness Inc., and I knew we were supposed to think she had money, but didn’t know we were supposed to think she had this much lying around. David is making nice, asking her how she spent her Christmas and so on, and she answers that she did the same as everyone else: ate too much turkey, watched the French & Saunders Christmas special, did some homewrecking, almost died a bunch of times. You know, the usual. Gráinne asks, “You didn’t stay here, did you?”, and it’s unclear whether she’s being nosy or just making conversation, but Maggie quickly changes the subject to more pleasant matters, such as whether Frances has any severe food allergies or possibly a propensity for standing very, very close to cliff edges. Gráinne volunteers David to swing by the shop, pick up the rest of the cash, and then deposit all of it at the credit union, but he gestures at his uniform and reminds her that DUH, he’s working, and she points out that UMM, she’s working TOO, and then the two of them bicker for a while about which of them is working harder since both their jobs apparently now consist of standing around in Maggie’s living room arguing. Eventually they take their circus act on the road, and Maggie stands around for a bit looking positively radiant—it seems destroying everyone’s Christmas agrees with her—and then ignores yet another call from Tadhg.
At the pub, John Joe comes over and blatantly starts listening to Úna’s telephone conversation with Aidan, which seems a bit nervy to me, but I suppose when someone you’re not related to stays at your house for free over Christmas without being invited, you’re allowed to insert yourself in their business. She’s complaining that Aidan already had to work through Christmas, St Stephen’s Day, and almost all of Kwanzaa, and now he has to work through New Year’s, New Year’s II, and New Year’s III: Deadly Revenge, too. She hangs up, and John Joe helpfully points out that her entire family may have abandoned her, but he’d be glad to take her out for a meal. They depart just as Gráinne arrives, and after Tadhg is rude to her for a while for no reason, she casually mentions that she was over at Maggie’s earlier, which causes him to change his tune. Of course Frances appears just in time to overhear him asking a thousand questions about how Maggie’s doing and how alive she seemed to be on a scale from 1 to 10. As she starts to answer, he notices Frances standing there and is then suddenly all, “God, Gráinne, it’s always ‘Maggie, Maggie, Maggie’ with you. I don’t know why you don’t just marry Maggie!” and hurries off, leaving Gráinne wondering what the hell is happening and us wondering when Gráinne does any work.
At the shop, David is standing around telling Annette in great detail how he’s rushed off his feet and is going to be in big trouble if he doesn’t hurry up and deliver some very important insulin or possibly edible underwear he lost and then backed over with his van a couple of times. He explains that it’s going to be very difficult to do this and take the charity money to the credit union since he’s already planned to go tour wedding venues all afternoon. He’s only one man, no matter how much skiving there is to do. After 27 more minutes of whingeing about how busy he is, he comes up with the genius idea to have Annette run the money over to the bank on her break, and she makes a big production out of yelling “I want nothing to do with this money that neither I nor anyone I am married to is going to steal, that’s for sure!” and holding up “I DIDN’T DO IT” signs for the CCTV’s benefit, but he will not be dissuaded and basically forces the money into her hands as if it’s a squirming baby with a dirty nappy.
A car pulls up in front of Maggie’s house, and the driver considerately rolls the window down so we can see it’s…Frances! Who may or may not still be driving her father’s car, which she borrowed from him for no particular reason, and which may or may not ever be relevant to the story. My guess is that Frances is framing her own father so he’ll be the one who goes down when Maggie’s blood is found in the cup holder.
Maggie is sadly listening to Al Jolson Sings Songs about the Spanish Flu on her Victrola, because as you’ll recall her age fluctuates between 50 and 150, when there’s a knock at the door. She shuffles over to open it and Frances is standing there with her back to the camera just so she can spin around and do a hilarious reveal. “Hi, Maggie,” she purrs, in a voice that says, “The authorities are going to have to identify your remains from a few broken strands of DNA I leave smeared across the ceiling.”
There’s a quick cut to the pub, where a distracted Tadhg is ignoring Bobbi-Lee’s nonsense, and then we return to Maggie’s, where she’s putting on a more appropriate record, such as “Killer Queen” or “Another One Bites The Dust.” She stands strategically under the framed photo of the pope and says, smiling, that she didn’t mean to cause any trouble, but that Tadhg felt like he couldn’t leave her alone in that old house full of asthma, “like any old friend would do.” Frances then reveals the approach she’s decided to take here, which is basically, “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie. You ignorant slut who is also very old. Tadhg never cared about you, he only cared about your money.” She carries on for a while like a Bond villain, and while Maggie looks grim, even by her standards, she finally responds by saying, “I’d know if he was up to something like that.” It seems Frances wasn’t expecting Maggie to do anything other than collapse like a house of cards, so she doesn’t know how to respond, and just then Maggie’s phone on the table shows that Tadhg is calling her yet again. They both look at it, and then stand there uncomfortably while it rings 29 more times, and then Frances runs out the door, letting out a single anguished sob as soon as she’s out of earshot. You can tell this whole thing has rattled her to her core, because ordinarily Frances would swat a pest like Maggie down like a fly, but she’s definitely way off her game here.
After the break, during which we learn that Taylor Swift can’t come to the phone right now because she’s died and turned into Britney Spears circa 2001, we’re back at the shop, where Annette is hilariously still carrying the giant sack of money around and hissing to Seán that the bank is completely ruthless and have threatened to start breaking their four to six children’s eight to twelve legs. He starts fiddling with the cash, so she smacks his hand away and tells him to stop thinking about it. Well, if you didn’t want him to look at it you shouldn’t have been waving it around in his face this whole time. He insists it would only be a small loan and they’d pay it back before anyone noticed it was missing, presumably with one of his famous dead certs, but she keeps repeating that it’s for charity, and she’s not sure she’s stooped quite low enough to start stealing from the homeless yet.
Meanwhile, over at the radio station, Briain is explaining to Amy how he scored 53½ hoops in only 27 at-bats in his first semi-season and holds the Tasmanian record for most kebabs ever eaten during halftime by a Division B left-handed wicket kicker. Caitríona is standing around outside the booth looking theatrically bored, and eventually holds up a sign that says “ASK ABOUT HIM F***ING DUDES” in a big letters, so Amy reluctantly tiptoes around it for a while and then comes right out and asks how the team felt about him being a big homo. Caitríona gives her a big grin and a thumbs up, but before she can start charades-style miming the various sex acts she wants to know about, Briain gets indignant and announces that he didn’t have to deal with any discrimination because he’s NOT GAY, although he does like gladiator movies. He explains that for the past few weeks he’s been pretending to be gay as part of a social experiment, what with his being a noted anthropologist and all, and we cut to the pub, where we see the barflies listening intently, presumably on the historic transistor radio Áine gave Tadhg last episode. They all bug out their eyes: Berni, because this brings their secret one step closer to being revealed; Bobbi-Lee, because, well, Bobbi-Lee; and Mack, because he doesn’t know how Amy and Briain fit into that little box with the aerial. The show abruptly ends, and Berni’s all like, “Well, I learned a lot about Australian tennis hockey, and we also all heard the part about his social experiment, right?” before grabbing her purse and running for the door. Katy arrives to drop off some photos of a child who may or may not be Cuán for Bobbi-Lee, and then Mack follows her out to discuss how crazy that kiss was earlier, but that it totally didn’t mean anything, ha ha, right? She agrees that it sure was wacky, and that Bobbi-Lee be illin’ and so on, and it’s all very uncomfortable.
Tadhg has arrived at Maggie’s to rant about how unreasonable Frances is being and how she had no right to come over in the first place. To her credit, Maggie points out that Frances has been hit with a lot all of a sudden, and that considering Tadhg has caused most of the trouble by lying to both of them, he doesn’t have much room to complain. This causes him to slow his roll, and then he tells her that if things come to a head—I’m not sure how much more of a head we can really come to at this point unless Frances walks in on Maggie whipping Tadhg with a cattle prod while riding him around the kitchen—if things come to a head, they can always claim they’re “just friends.” He says this as if it’s some genius proclamation. She sadly tells him that they both know they’re more than “just friends,” and Frances knows it now, too. He tells Maggie he wants to be there, with her, and she says she knows, but that he’s got to choose his family over her, because not only does Frances need her husband, but Little Áine, Little Jason, and Little Eoin need their daddy.
Over at the shop, Seán tells Annette he’s put the entire €3500 cash into their account and deposited the check into the charity’s account, and that this should create enough confusion to buy them time to pay the money back. Of course we don’t hear how Seán got his hands on the cash in the first place, but somehow I doubt he knocked Annette unconscious with a broomstick and ran off with the money, so she can cut the innocent bystander act. She bugs her eyes out and pulls out fistfuls of her hair for a while, but he assures her that he’ll somehow produce the cash and pay it back before anyone notices it’s gone. Well, that explains why he was practicing making fake euros with crayons and construction paper in the café earlier. He was doing pretty well until he couldn’t remember how to spell “EURO” in Greek.